It’s cyclocross season people! Did you even know that? As the seasons change here in the ‘great white north’ the cycling does not need to stop, nor does the racing, not even the training. You want to sharpen your cycling skills and stay on top of your endurance game as we head into the cold, dark winter? The cyclocross, gravel riding, and fat bike events will be flooding your Facebook feed and Twitter page soon enough. So let’s keep it real…if you love riding your bike, there is no good reason to stop once the days get shorter and chillier. That’s the best time to begin, some might say!
So, let’s take a closer look at the aforementioned cycling options, then you can decide which might be the best fit for you:
Cyclocross — (sometimes cyclocross, CX, CCX, cyclo-X or ‘cross) A form of bicycle racing. Races typically take place in the autumn and winter (the international or “World Cup” season is October–February), and consist of many laps of a short (2.5–3.5 km or 1.5–2 mile) course over a pre-determined period of time featuring pavement, wooded trails, grass, steep hills and obstacles requiring the rider to quickly dismount, carry the bike while navigating the obstruction and remount. Cyclocross is high intensity, red-lining action. Non-stop power to the pedals from the get go. Fun for all ages! There are options and categories for just about anyone who wants to give it a go.
Here is a link to give you some in depth information about the upcoming Minnesota schedule of events:
The fun begins this weekend (September 27th & 28th 2014)…check it out.
Gravel Riding — Taking road bike racing to the outer limits of the urban and suburban world. There is no real definition for gravel racing/riding…the simple truth is you can race it or simply go out and enjoy it. Many of the rides are free of charge and you receive a printable route description with turn by turn directions to get you from the start to the finish in one piece. What you don’t want to do is make the mistake of NOT taking in the backdrop of some of the most beautiful scenery there may be to offer. Ranging in distances, you may find yourself riding anywhere form 30 to over 100 miles. It just depends on the venue.
You can ride almost any style of bike on gravel but having the right tires is key in some instances. Generally you will see cyclocross specific, flat bar recreational (hybrid), fat tire, and mountain bikes traversing through the country roads. Now, of course, there are gravel specific bikes too. A wider tire with some ‘knobbies’ or deeper tread are the key to a safe and secure gravel ride.
Fat Bikes — BIG tires, rugged frames. Many people would agree; riding a fat bike is a party on two wheels. We, at Gear West Bike & Tri, agree 100%. Fat bikes were ‘invented’, or intended, for use on unstable ground. This could be mud, sand or snow…or a mixture of any of those things and much more. Throughout the last few years the increasing trend of fat bikes has shown that many individuals choose to ride these machines all year long on any terrain, including pavement. They have become lighter, leaner, faster and meaner. The fad, that turned into a trend, is now a monstrous reality in the bike industry. Fat bikes are here to stay, and you should own one so you can smile a lot. Felt, Surly and Trek build fine fat bikes. They look to be shipping late fall so check in with us and see about coming by and riding away with one of your own.
It’s Minnesota! We are one of the top ranked bicycling communities in the nation. We didn’t get that bike love because we hibernate in the winter, did we? Time to embrace the cold, the snow, the good days and the bad…but remember this, there are bad days…but a day on a bike makes any day better!